Sunday, September 02, 2007

Movie Review: Stardust

When I read this movie review by Roger Ebert I decided that Stardust might not be worth the time or money to see it in the theater. He liked it but it had problems. And since it was PG-13 I couldn't take Samantha anyway. I figured I'd watch it on DVD. But then Samantha was invited to a sleepover and I asked Sarah what she wanted to see. She picked Stardust. I mentioned that it didn't get good reviews. I remembered in particular this line from the review:

There are lots of other good things in the movie, but they play more like vaudeville acts than part of a coherent plot. It's a film you enjoy in pieces, but the jigsaw never gets solved.
But she checked online and saw that if you liked The Princess Bride, you'd like this movie. So, we decided to see it.

But I did have some reservations until I remembered that I was dissuaded from seeing Aeon Flux in the theater because of the reviews but when I watched it on DVD I loved it. I also loved The Island and that got bad reviews as well.

Sarah and I loved it! It was exciting and made you wonder what would happen next. The things that Ebert thought were too much actually added to the excitement as you moved from one adventure to another.

It begins with a young man trying to cross the wall into another world, he's stopped by the guard at the gate but he's able to get around him and check out what is beyond his world. What he finds is a marketplace and a pretty girl who is enslaved by a witch. He returns to his world and over nine months later a baby is left at the wall and brought to him by the guard. The baby, Tristan grows up into a young man who works in a shop and has a crush on a young woman who is really interested in another suitor.

But he doesn't give up and makes her promise not to marry the other suitor until he returns to her with a fallen star. She agrees and gives him one week. He tries to cross the wall but the guard has been practicing since Tristan's father's successful breech and stops him. He tells his father what happened and his father tells him what happened when he breeched the wall. He gives him the stuff that was in the basket with him when he was a baby and one of the things turns out to be a candle that will get him where wants to go by thinking about it. He thinks about the star and his mom and is immediately transported to where the star landed. The star turns out to be a beautiful woman with long blond hair whom he takes captive so that he can bring her to his girlfriend.

The rest of the story is about how they make their way back to the wall so that he can present her to his girlfriend. They have to battle witches who are after her heart (they will have eternal life if they eat it) and princes who are after her necklace (the one who possesses the necklace will be king of their father's land) to get back to the wall. They meet some interesting characters along the way and face some pretty harrowing adventures.

The movie is sweet and funny and upbeat and has a great message about love and what it takes to give and receive it.

At the end of Ebert's review he says this:
There is a kind of narrative flow that makes you want to be swept along, and another that's just one thing after another. "Stardust" is fun enough the first time through, but it doesn't pass the Derek Malcolm Test: "A great movie is a movie I cannot bear the thought of never seeing again."
Well, Sarah and I were swept along and were sad to see it end. In fact, at the end of the movie I turned to Sarah and said, "I'm so going to get that out when it comes on DVD" and she said, "No, I'm going to get it." And we spent a few minutes arguing about who was going to get the movie. I guess for us it did pass Derek Malcolm's test.


  1. CyberCelt said...
    Great review. I will have to rent this one.
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    Karmyn R said...
    I want to see this movie - and I have found that a lot of movies in this genre are unliked by the critics.

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